Collector - June 2017 - 46

Learning to Play by the Rules
How the FDCPA affects the use of technology in debt collection.

T

ry to conceive of a debt collection
activity that currently does not
use technology. Telephones, fax
machines, computers and even mailing
machines have uses in contacting,
communicating with and receiving
payment from consumers.
Because technology is such an important
and useful part of the debt collection industry,
it stands to reason that the use of technology
is subject to laws that regulate its use. The
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs
debt collection, and debt collectors must
understand how technologies, even those that
were emerging or nonexistent at the time of
the act's inception, interact with the FDCPA.
Since much of the technology used today
is not explicitly discussed by the FDCPA, it
may seem curious that the act could govern
the use of these technologies. However, since
the act broadly defines communication as
"the conveying of information regarding
a debt directly or indirectly through any
medium," it encompasses every possible
means of communication regarding a debt,
including communications sent through
technological advancements.
One prominent technological advancement
is the cell phone. While the FDCPA does
not specifically address cell phone usage,
communications with consumers through
this medium undoubtedly must comply with
the act. The portability of cell phone numbers
creates a potential pitfall when attempting
to contact consumers because the time
zone of the consumer's location may differ
from the area code for the consumer's cell
phone number. Debt collectors could run
afoul of the FDCPA by accidently calling the
consumer at an inconvenient time.
Text messaging generates another
potential avenue to contact consumers.
However, text messaging raises some
potential FDCPA concerns, including
possible third-party disclosures, consumerincurred fees for messages, and the potential

46

inability to provide required disclosures due
to character limits on text messages.
Websites are also an example of prevalent
post-FDCPA technology. Courts have
found that if a communication from a debt
collector refers a consumer to the collector's
website, the website is considered an
extension of the collection notice. Thus, the
website and its content must conform to the
requirements of the FDCPA.
For a more in-depth look at how
the FDCPA relates to collecting with

technology, ACA members can review ACA
SearchPoint™ document #1115 Technology
and the FDCPA.
Have you checked out ACA's member-only
SearchPoint library? ACA SearchPoint is
filled with documents that put important
compliance information related to the
FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, state laws and
many other topics at your fingertips.
To access ACA SearchPoint, visit www.
acainternational.org/searchpoint.

BENEFIT
YOUR
VOICE
HEARD

Advocacy
Education
Assurance
Call Customer Care:
(800) 269-1607

There has never been
a time more critical in
the credit and collection
industry. Join your fellow
industry professionals to learn and
stand together for your business to
thrive in this new environment.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.acainternational.org/searchpoint http://www.acainternational.org/searchpoint http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - June 2017

President's Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
In Case of Emergency
Pulling Back the Curtain
ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Calendar
Honor Roll
Seeing Eye to Eye
The Business Battle
Blueprint for Success
Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Compliance
ACA SearchPoint
Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover1
Collector - June 2017 - Cover2
Collector - June 2017 - 1
Collector - June 2017 - 2
Collector - June 2017 - President's Page
Collector - June 2017 - Industry News
Collector - June 2017 - 5
Collector - June 2017 - 6
Collector - June 2017 - 7
Collector - June 2017 - Best Practices
Collector - June 2017 - 9
Collector - June 2017 - FYI
Collector - June 2017 - 11
Collector - June 2017 - Collection Tips
Collector - June 2017 - 13
Collector - June 2017 - In Case of Emergency
Collector - June 2017 - 15
Collector - June 2017 - 16
Collector - June 2017 - 17
Collector - June 2017 - 18
Collector - June 2017 - 19
Collector - June 2017 - Pulling Back the Curtain
Collector - June 2017 - 21
Collector - June 2017 - 22
Collector - June 2017 - 23
Collector - June 2017 - 24
Collector - June 2017 - 25
Collector - June 2017 - ACA International's 2017 Convention and Exposition Preview
Collector - June 2017 - 27
Collector - June 2017 - 28
Collector - June 2017 - 29
Collector - June 2017 - 30
Collector - June 2017 - 31
Collector - June 2017 - Calendar
Collector - June 2017 - Honor Roll
Collector - June 2017 - Seeing Eye to Eye
Collector - June 2017 - 35
Collector - June 2017 - The Business Battle
Collector - June 2017 - 37
Collector - June 2017 - 38
Collector - June 2017 - 39
Collector - June 2017 - Blueprint for Success
Collector - June 2017 - 41
Collector - June 2017 - Federal Court Nixes CFPB Enforcement Action That Claimed a Payment Processor Ignored Fraud
Collector - June 2017 - 43
Collector - June 2017 - Compliance
Collector - June 2017 - 45
Collector - June 2017 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - June 2017 - 47
Collector - June 2017 - Last Word
Collector - June 2017 - Cover3
Collector - June 2017 - Cover4
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202010
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202009
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202008
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202007
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202006
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202005
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202004
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202003
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202002
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/202001
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201912
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201911
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201910/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201909/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201908/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201907/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201906/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201905/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201904/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201903/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201902/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201901/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201812/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201811/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201810/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201809/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201808/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201807/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201806/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201805/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201804/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201803/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201802/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201801/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201712/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201711/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201710/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201709/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201708/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201707/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201706/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201705/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201704/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201703/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201702/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201701/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201612/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201611/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201610/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201609/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201608/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201607/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201606/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201605/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201604/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201603/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201602/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201601/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201512/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201511/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201510/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201509/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201508/
http://online.collector.com/collectormagazine/201507/
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com